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MMRF Funded Grants

As the leading funder of multiple myeloma research, the MMRF has supported more than 325 research grants at over 125 institutions worldwide. The MMRF supports innovative research efforts in the most promising areas of multiple myeloma research through several grant-making programs. Please use the filtering options on the left side of this page to sort through the past MMRF grants shown below.

Please note that grant information for 1997-2005 has not yet been uploaded; thank you for your patience as we work to include this information.

The Role of MDSCs in the Immune Escape of Multiple Myeloma
Year Awarded: 2012 Type of Grant: Research Fellow Awards
Location: United States Institution: H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute
Amount: $75,000 Investigator: indu ramachandran
In Multiple myeloma (MM), as tumor expands in the bone marrow (BM), the ability of immune effector cells to kill tumor cells is inhibited through unclear mechanisms. In experimental MM models, we see the development of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), an inhibitory cell type that negatively regulates immune effector cell function. A reduction in MDSC levels resulted in improved survival of mice with MM. Thus, we will test the hypothesis that MDSCs promote MM growth by inhibiting BM immunological responses against MM. This study could provide validation for the therapeutic-targeting of MDSCs in order to improve anti-MM immunity in patients.

Understanding the resistant plasma cell: the dream of curing Myeloma
Year Awarded: 2012 Type of Grant: Research Fellow Awards
Location: International Institution: Instituto de Biologia Molecular y Celular del Cancer (CSIC-USAL)
Amount: $75,000 Investigator: Bruno Paiva
Multiple myeloma is the second most frequent hematological malignancy and yet incurable, as all patients eventually become resistant to treatment. This is partly explained by the presence of tumor cells that persist after therapy, and that are usually detectable using highly sensitive techniques. Our group has a leadership position in the detection of persistent myeloma cells after treatment; now, we want to go a step further and fully characterize these cells. It is our belief that a first-ever characterization of myeloma chemoresistant cells will contribute to identifying the hidden clues to overcome chemoresistance, and finally achieve a cure in this disease.

Studying the myeloma niche by 3D mesenchymal stem cell-based system
Year Awarded: 2012 Type of Grant: Research Fellow Awards
Location: United States Institution: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Amount: $75,000 Investigator: Jana Jakubikova
Nowadays, it is not fully understand what causes multiple myeloma (MM), a blood cancer affecting bones. However, it is believed that mistakes, which are happening during blood development, are first appeared in specific, primitive clones, which later cause MM. Furthermore, also neighborhood environment of myeloma cells might be changed during MM or even, might be causative for mistakes during blood development. The purpose of the proposed studies is to create model to characterize myeloma primitive clones and understand differences in neighborhood of myeloma cells compared to healthy one for future development of effective therapies for patients on an individualized basis.

UTX regulates spontaneous and bortezomib-induced apoptosis in myeloma
Year Awarded: 2012 Type of Grant: Research Fellow Awards
Location: United States Institution: Mayo Clinic Arizona
Amount: $75,000 Investigator: ryan holzer
The UTX gene is mutated in patients with multiple myeloma, which suggests that UTX may function as a tumor suppressor gene (a gene that prevents cancer development). Discovering the exact function of the UTX gene in multiple myeloma could lead to the development of new drugs that may improve patient survival and/or quality of life. My research has shown that UTX kills multiple myeloma cancer cells by itself, and that UTX may also help chemotherapy kill cancer cells. My goal is to discover exactly how UTX kills cancer cells so that new types of chemotherapy can be developed.

Obesity-associated multiple myeloma: targeting the AMPK pathway
Year Awarded: 2012 Type of Grant: Research Fellow Awards
Location: United States Institution: University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Amount: $75,000 Investigator: Edward Medina
Obesity increases the risk of developing MM although the reasons why are unclear. Several factors are abnormally regulated in obesity which may stimulate MM growth. For example, adiponectin is secreted by fat cells but paradoxically decreased in obesity. I found that adiponectin acts through a molecule called AMPK within MM cells to cause cell death. This suggests that adiponectin slows MM growth and decreased levels, as occurs in obese subjects, would enhance its growth. I will test the hypothesis that obesity stimulates MM growth and evaluate the potential of targeting AMPK for treating MM in an obese MM mouse model.

Transient Lymphodepletion and PD-1/PD-L1 Blockade to Treat Myeloma
Year Awarded: 2012 Type of Grant: Senior Research Awards
Location: United States Institution: Medical College of Wisconsin, Inc.
Amount: $200,000 Investigator: Bryon Johnson
Activating the immune system to treat multiple myeloma is an exciting possibility. We recently generated new data using an animal model that shows blocking a protein on myeloma cells (called PD-L1) can promote elimination of the cancer cells in animals that had just been treated with a low dose of whole body irradiation. This is an exciting approach to treating myeloma because it is relatively simple, it is not toxic, and it could be easily done in patients. We would like to confirm these new results and try to understand why this immune treatment works.

Engineering T Cell Therapy for Multiple Myeloma
Year Awarded: 2011 Type of Grant: Senior Research Awards
Location: United States Institution: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Amount: $200,000 Investigator: Edus Warren

Targeting Met Receptor Tyrosine Kinase in Multiple Myeloma
Year Awarded: 2011 Type of Grant: Senior Research Awards
Location: United States Institution: University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Amount: $200,000 Investigator: Christine Stellhecht

WNT receptors: targets to disrupt MM interaction with the microenvironment
Year Awarded: 2011 Type of Grant: Research Fellow Awards
Location: International Institution: Fondazione Centro San Raffaele del Monte Tabor
Amount: $75,000 Investigator: Michela Frenquilli
Despite therapeutic advances multiple myeloma (MM) remains an incurable disease, therefore the need for more effective therapies. MM cells rely for their survival upon the interaction with the surrounding microenvironment. One attractive therapeutic option is to interfere with these supportive interactions. We have identified a protein that is present on the surface of MM cells that based on our preliminary data has a critical a role in the homing of plasma cells to the bone marrow. We propose a series of in vivo experiments to conclusively demonstrate its relevance as a novel therapeutic target in MM.

Impact of HDAC6 inhibition by ACY1215 and bortezomib on MM bone disease
Year Awarded: 2011 Type of Grant: Research Fellow Awards
Location: United States Institution: Massachusetts General Hospital (The General Hospital Corp.)
Amount: $75,000 Investigator: Eda Homare
Histone deacetylases (HDACs) play a crucial role in the modulation of gene expression and chromatin structure. Histone modifications are commonly found in human cancer including multiple myeloma (MM) making the HDACs attractive therapeutic targets in MM. Here, we will investigate the preclinical activity of a selective HDAC6 inhibitor, ACY1215, in combination with bortezomib. We will delineate the molecular mechanism of this combination in the context of MM bone disease. This study will provide the basis for future clinical evaluation of ACY1215 and bortezomib in MM.

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